Friday, March 27, 2009

The Stable

Review: Warhammer Stable

ForgeWorld's Warhammer terrain range offers some of the best medieval fantasy scenery on the market. I had been drooling over the photos on their website for long enough until I decided to place an order. In this post I document my impressions and experience with the first ForgeWorld piece that I assembled and painted for my Gierburg table: the Warhammer Stable.1

I have to say that I am not a few of Games Workshop's latest Empire terrain for Warhammer. It undoubtedly has a distinct style but personally I am not a fan of all the Sigmar comet symbols, skulls and other falderal. I have always loved Forge World's scenery, however, because of its more authentic historical feel.

After painting the first building for my Gierburg project, the Blue Wolf Inn, I decided it was time to get my hands on the Forge World buildings at last. The stable is a great addition to the inn (and easy to assemble) so I did that one first.

  • Main building
  • Roof
  • Beam
  • Wheel sprue with 2x 2 wheels
As you can see, aside from the beam which needs to be glued on the base, there is no further assembly required. A little filing off of some surplus resin and that's it. Well, if it weren't for two enormous chunks of resin at the bottom of the base (unfortunately I didn't take photos of them). It took a while to cut/file/rasp them off and it was rather exhausting, especially as I accidentally drove the building in my right thumb twice in the process, soaking the stable with blood even before it saw its first battle.

First Impression
These were my first impressions:
  • Larger than expected: Buildings tend to be smaller than you want them to be and this one was a nice surprise.
  • Great detail: The detailed stones in the walls and the structured wood are nicely done.
  • Lovely additional bits (on the model): There are two barrels, a bucket, a hay stack and hay spread inside the stable. That's some very nice extra detail that surely cannot be taken for granted.

For this review I will grade the model as I described recently in the introduction of the Wrecking Ball Terrain Review article.
After the Blue Wolf Inn and the Burgomeister's Mansion (coming soon) I was somewhat apt to give a lower grade here. Surely a stable cannot compete with a huge inn or mansion in terms of impressiveness. But it doesn't have to and such a comparison would not be fair. It is a stable - that is what it is meant to represent, so it should be judged on that.

The stable is very nicely modelled: the detailed walls are sculpted on the in- and outside, the wood has a good structure, the roof sits nicely on the building and additional items such as two barrels, a bucket and a haystack round off the model. While it is great to have these items on the model it would have been better if they were removable. Especially the barrels get in the way of the brush when painting. Well, can't have everything, right? Ultimately, however, it is, of course, better to have these items than not at all.

The stable is a great building that comes at a very fair price (thanks to the current high of the Euro). The detail is pretty much perfect. The only deficits are the quality of the material. The resin itself is sturdy but at some places the paint won't stick (despite having washed the building prior to undercoating). Fortunately this was mostly only at the walls where the gray resin can be drybrushed to look like stone. These are only minor points though, and all in all the stable is nearly perfect: 4.5 of 5.

Painting the Stable
I really enjoyed painting the Warhammer stable. The roof and (structured) wood paint up nicely and fast so you get some good quick results that motivate further work. A first drybrush of Codex Grey on the stone walls soon gives you a rough idea of what the building will look like in the end. So you can get a great basis to work on after a short time so that you are motivated to go on and spend the extra time on figuring out how to do the stones.

Base/Ground & Roof
See the Blue Wolf Inn for how I painted the base/ground (Scorched Brown, Bestial Brown, Skull White) and the roof - I used the same technique and colours.

Stone Walls
Painting the stone walls took a lot of time. I found it much harder to get satisfying results on stone walls than on brickwork. Simple drybrushing is not sufficient as you need to mix and use a lot of colours and pay a lot of attention to the individual stones. This is pretty time consuming but, in my opinion, well worth the effort.

I tried to write down the steps I went through when painting the stones. I went through some "trial-and-error" but I think I figured it out alright in the end.
  1. Drybrush with 1/2 Codex Grey, 1/2 Chaos Black
  2. Drybrush with Codex Grey
  3. Drybrush individual stones with one of the following:
    • 1/2 Codex Grey, 1/2 Bestial Brown
    • 1/2 Codex Grey, 1/2Vomit Brown
    • Bleached Bone
    • Fortress Grey
  4. Drybrush with Codex Grey (tones down the previous layer)
  5. Drybrush with Fortress Grey
  6. Draw lots of small dots/stains/strokes on individual stones using one of the following:
    • Vomit Brown
    • Bestial Brown
    • Bleached Bone
    • Skull White
  7. Combining these stains creates a nice realistic effect. Mixing the colours and stains should be done in a way that feels right. It takes a lot of time and I could have spent even much more on it.

Again I used the same as for the Blue Wolf Inn: flowers from Silhouette, ivy from miniNatur and foliage from Antenociti's Workshop.

The finished Model
Alright. Enough talk - here are the pictures, enjoy:

1Unfortunately the stable is currently out of production and not available in Forge World's online store (March 30th, 2010). Let's hope it returns soon!


  1. Looks amazing Chris! Well done. I am very fond of your multi-coloured stone technique. Looks very real!

    What's up next on "WRECKING BALL"? ^^

  2. Thanks, Tom! Up next is either the Old Glory Brigantine, or the Resina Planet Mansion, or the Forge World Blacksmith's Forge, or the Forge World bloomery, or the Forge World Well. I have no idea.. :) Too much stuff in the pipeline.


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